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Competition Guide

2016 Centres of Excellence for Commercialization and Research (CECR) program competition

 Competition Guide



Background

The Centres of Excellence for Commercialization and Research (CECR) Program was established to create internationally recognized centres of excellence in areas of priority for the Government of Canada that deliver economic, social, health and environmental benefits to Canada.

Since the program’s inception in 2007, the centres have generated value for Canada by matching clusters of research expertise with the business community; sharing knowledge, expertise and resources; and bringing new innovations to the market faster. The Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE) Steering Committee is pleased to invite applications for the establishment of new centres of Excellence.

Prospective applicants should refer to the CECR program guide at www.nce-rce.gc.ca/Programs-Programmes/CECR-CECR/Index_eng.asp for detailed information about the CECR program.

 

2016 Competition for New Centres – Summary

The 2016 CECR competition is seeking to fund new centres that can build on Canada’s Research and Development (R&D) landscape by enabling the commercialization of research by matching clusters of academic research expertise with the needs of business, health practitioners and other end users. The emphasis of the CECR program is on commercialization, including new technologies, and goods and services. Centres seeking funding must be able to demonstrate a robust business plan and a feasible plan for sustainability.

Applicants competing for CECR funding will undergo a rigorous review to assess how the centre will build on Canada’s R&D landscape through the viability of its business and sustainability plans. The business plan must clearly demonstrate a gradual reduction in the centre’s reliance on CECR funds as part of its sustainability plan. Applicants must demonstrate the potential for realizing economic impact, benefits to Canada (including social, health and environmental benefits), and the ability to become self-sustaining in a reasonable period of time.

Sustainability of the centre means that the centre will continue a reasonable proportion of its core activities beyond the CECR funding period. The centres can achieve sustainability by using a range of models, such as partnerships, memberships, other governments’ support and other revenues generated by a diversified portfolio of products and services. Centres are expected to become self-sufficient by establishing a strong business model and partnerships and must be able to support their activities through their own revenue streams, stakeholder investments, confirmed contributions from other sources of funds and/or membership fees.

 

Program Overview

Program Objectives

The goal of the CECR program is to create internationally recognized centres of commercialization and research expertise in priority areas to deliver economic, social, health and environmental benefits to Canada.
Financial sustainability of the centres beyond the CECR grant funding remains a key element of the program.

Expected Results and Outcomes

The Program is expected to maximize the benefits of government investment in R&D and encourage the private sector to increase its investment in science and technology.

Centres should be world-class and able to demonstrate their progress towards

  • Branding Canada as the host of internationally recognized centres of excellence that will yield economic, social, health or environmental benefits to Canada;
  • Drawing on existing research and commercialization strengths, infrastructure, networks and funding capacity to enhance their impact;
  • Attracting, retaining and providing training to highly qualified personnel (including internationally recognized business leaders);
  • Opening up new opportunities for Canadian researchers and firms to access world-class equipment, facilities and networks;
  • Creating, growing and retaining companies in Canada that are able to capture new markets with breakthrough innovations;
  • Accelerating the commercialization of leading edge technologies, goods or services in priority areas where Canada can significantly enhance its competitive advantage;
  • Attracting investment (including foreign direct and venture capital investment); and
  • Strengthening domestic collaboration and ensure that benefits spill over to a wide array of firms, organizations, sectors and regions of the country.

 

Eligible Recipient Organizations

Organizations eligible to receive funds are not-for-profit corporations created by universities, colleges, not-for-profit research organizations, firms, and other interested non-government parties.

 

Competition Objectives

The 2016 competition is seeking to fund new centres of excellence that have a robust business model, which includes strong commercialization (including new technologies, goods and services), and sustainability plans, as well as a credible budget over the proposed timeframe. Only applications that meet the threshold of excellence will be funded.

Centres applying to the 2016 CECR competition must demonstrate how the proposed centre will address priorities of the Government of Canada, including:

  • Environmental science and technologies;
  • Natural resources and energy;
  • Health and related life sciences and technologies;
  • Information and communications technologies; and
  • Management, business or finance.

The centres will be reviewed based on the full lifecycle and total funding needed to achieve sustainability. A maximum of $15 million will be provided over a 5-year timeframe. Centres that submit applications in excess of 5 years will be subject to an international panel review at the end of the 5-year period to being awarded the remaining funding.

 

Use of CECR funds

Centres are expected to leverage funding from multiple sources to meet the CECR matching requirements. Total assistance provided to the centre will be carefully assessed to ensure adherence to the program requirements.

CECR grant funds can cover up to 50% of eligible commercialization costs and up to 75% of other eligible costs, with the balance to be provided through non-federal partner contributions. A balance of cash and in-kind contributions should be sought in order to support the centre’s long-term sustainability plan.

Eligible Expenses

  • Operating Costs: maintenance and operation of the centre; materials and supplies; liability insurance for members of the Board of Directors and centre administrators; legal fees and other related incorporation costs;
  • Salary Costs: salaries for management, technical and professional staff employed to provide support to users or to maintain and operate the centre;
  • Knowledge Mobilization Costs: expenses relating to communications activities, networking, promotion of the centre, knowledge dissemination and engagement of stakeholders to put available knowledge into active service; and
  • Commercialization Costs: expenses related to commercialization activities (e.g. intellectual property protection, market studies, business plan development, counselling and mentoring, technology evaluation, development, and investments).

Where a project involves capital equipment expenditures that are vital to the success of a commercialization project, the cost of that equipment will be considered an eligible expense, provided: 1) the eligible recipient is not eligible for other federal programming that supports capital expenditures such as the Canada Foundation for Innovation, and 2) the equipment cost for which coverage is requested does not exceed $1 million and is at most 20% of the total eligible commercialization expenses.

Appendix A of the CECR Program Guide.

 

Evaluation Criteria

  1. Benefits to Canada
    • The extent to which the centre’s research and commercialization activities address issues of high priority for Canada;
    • The likelihood that the centre will create sufficient scale and focus to brand Canada as the host of an internationally recognized centre of excellence in its area of priority; and
    • Evidence that the centre will help to accelerate the commercialization of leading-edge technologies, goods or services in priority areas where Canada can significantly advance its competitive advantage.
  2. Track Record and Potential of the Applicants
    • The achievements of the applicants and their ability to contribute to the centre’s research and commercialization objectives;
    • The ability of the applicants to attract investment sufficient to meet the program’s matching requirements and to encourage investment in partner firms; and
    • The ability of the applicants to support partners, firms and researchers with advice, analysis, training and business services to advance their commercialization objectives.
  3.  Business Plan
    • Excellence, focus and coherence of the research and development and commercialization program;
    • The effectiveness of the plan to manage, protect and exploit intellectual property resulting from centre-funded innovation;
    • A credible demonstration of how this investment will result in the creation of a self-sustaining, productive centre of excellence;
    • The quality of the proposed organizational structure with appropriate representation on the Board of Directors and management team to achieve its objectives; and
    • Evidence that the applicants have in place an accountability framework likely to result in effective leadership, sound financial planning and decision-making.

 

Competition Timeline

Deadlines Milestones
October 2014 Competition launched
December 4, 2014 Webinar for preparation of Letter of Intent*
*Please contact Edward Irving to register for the webinar
March 6, 2015 Letter of Intent (LOI) (4:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time)
Late April 2015 Review of the LOI by PSAB and approval of LOI results by the NCE Management Committee
Early May 2015 LOI results sent to applicants
June 12 and 15, 2015 Webinar for preparation of full applications
August 28, 2015 Full application deadline (4:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time)
mid-September 2015 Expert panel review of applications
late September 2015 Review of full applications by the PSAB
mid-October 2015 Decision by the NCE Steering Committee; Start of the Centre operations
Winter 2015-16 Announcement of CECR 2016 competition results
January-February 2016 Funding agreements and amendments circulated for signatures
late March 2016 Funding starts

 

Review and Decision Process

Centres applying to the 2016 CECR competition for new centres must submit a letter of intent (LOI) and a full application.

The letter of intent must describe how the centre would further the goal of the CECR program, and provide a strong outline of the business model proposed. The Private Sector Advisory Board (PSAB) will assess the LOIs against the program selection criteria and recommend a short-list of selected applicants to the NCE Management Committee to be invited to submit a full application.

Applicants invited to submit a full application may request Full Application Preparation (FAP) funding to assist them in preparing a full application. The 2016 Competition will offer up to $15,000 in FAP funding. To access the FAP funding the applicant must provide an outline of the expenses requiring FAP funds to the NCE Secretariat. Typically, these funds are used to organize stakeholder meetings, develop the application and for applicants to travel to meet with the Expert Panel.

Full applications will be evaluated using the three program evaluation criteria described above. The NCE Secretariat may also consult with provincial officials to identify provincial priorities and to secure their views on the project proposal(s) from their province.

In addition, centres funded under the CECR program must demonstrate the ability to become self-sustaining in a reasonable period of time through a gradual reduction in their reliance on CECR funds over time.

Each application will undergo a review by an expert panel established by the NCE Secretariat. These panels will be comprised of domestic and international experts, who will evaluate the centres’ application, meet with the applicants, and produce in-depth written assessments of the application. The expert panel report, along with a copy of the applicant’s presentation, will then be forwarded to the PSAB.

The PSAB will review all applications and their associated expert panel reports, to develop recommendations to be presented to the NCE Steering Committee. 
 
The NCE Steering Committee will make the final decision regarding the amount and duration of funding for centres, based on the recommendations of the PSAB. The decisions reached by NCE Steering Committee are final. There is no appeal process.

Given the multi-disciplinary nature of the CECRs, funding for a given centre may come from more than one granting agency, and so the NCE Secretariat will be the primary point of interaction for all centres. Funding disbursements will be managed by the NCE Secretariat and disbursed to the centres through a funding agreement under the legal authority(ies) of the relevant granting agency(ies) (CIHR, NSERC, and/or SSHRC).

 

Comments to Applicants and Announcements

The confidential evaluation report from the expert panel and the PSAB for each full application will be made available to each group of applicants after the final approval of the results of the competition.

Results of the competition will be posted on the NCE website at www.nce-rce.gc.ca after the 2016 Competition announcement (see Competition Timeline, above).

 

Application Requirements and Submission

To be eligible for funding in the 2016 CECR competition for new centres, centres must submit a letter of intent and a full application. Late submissions of any of these documents will not be accepted.

A letter of intent and a full application consist of the elements listed below. A detailed description of each element appears in the section “Instructions for preparing an application.”

Application Contents:

Letter of Intent (Deadline: March 6, 2015)

  1. Letter from the intended host organization to support the centre’s application;
  2. LOI form;
  3. Information to help assess the track record and potential of the applicants;
  4. Business Plan;
  5. Financial Plan Overview;
  6. Letters of Support;
  7. List of potential expert panelists (including contact information and area of expertise)
  8. Request for FAP funding.

Centres must provide a list of potential expert panel members who are not in conflict of interest for the review of their application. Please see Appendix B for the CECR Conflict of Interest Guidelines. Each expert panel will be comprised of five to seven experts in business, management, knowledge and technology transfer, commercialization, applied science and/or public policy.

Full Application (Deadline: August 28, 2015) - Invited applicants only

  1. Statement from the proposed Chair of the centre’s Board of Directors with a commitment to the centre;
  2. Full application form;
  3. A business plan;
  4. A financial plan;
  5. Performance indicators, targets and milestones;
  6. Appendices
    1. Letters of support
    2. Biographies
    3. Alphabetical list of key individuals

Submission Procedures

Application documents must be submitted via the This link will take you to another Web site NCE Secure Submission Site. One original hard copy of the letter of intent and the full application is also required, postmarked by the submission deadline.

Complete the required fields and select the relevant options from therespective drop down menus. The following message will appear on-screen if a document is successfully uploaded:

Thank you for using the NCE Secure Submission Site. You have successfully submitted the document below. We will contact you or the contact person indicated in the document should we require any additional information.
Documentsubmitted:<AcronymOfProgEnglish>_<AcronymOfCompEnglish>_
<AcronymOfDocTypeEnglish>_<AcronymOfNetworkName><NameLast> <YYYY-MM-DDTHH:MM:SS ET>

The letter of intent should be submitted as a single Portable Document Format (PDF) document that combines all of the required sections. The PDF document cannot exceed 49 MB. The deadline for submission of the letter of intent (LOI) via the This link will take you to another Web site NCE Secure Submission Site is 4:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) on March 6, 2015.

The full application should be submitted as a single PDF document that combines all of the required sections. The total file size cannot exceed 49 MB. The deadline for submission of the full application via This link will take you to another Web site NCE Secure Submission Site is 4:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) on August 28, 2015.

Late submissions of either of these documents will not be accepted.

The NCE Secretariat will send an email to the centre’s director to confirm receipt of the letter of intent and the full application within a week after the submission. If confirmation is not received within a week of the submission deadline, please contact the NCE Secretariat:
Tel.: 613-995-6010
E-mail: info@nce-rce.gc.ca

Presentation Standards

  • Page size: 8½ x 11 inches
  • Margins: no less than ¾ of an inch on all sides.
  • Font: Times New Roman (no smaller than 12 pts) or Arial (no smaller than 11 pts). If measured in characters per inch (cpi), it must be no more than 10 cpi. Condensed type is not acceptable.
  • Header: include the title of the centre at the top of every page.
  • All pages must be consecutively numbered.
  • Graphs and illustrations may be included, but will count as part of the set page limits. Either single or double column presentation of text, graphs or illustrations is acceptable. Any pages exceeding the limits given below will be removed from the submission.

 

Instructions for preparing an application

Completing a Letter of Intent

The letter of intent provides information on the centre in relation to the goals and objectives of the CECR program. It will be used in the screening process to determine which applicants will be invited to submit a full application. It will be evaluated according to the three CECR program criteria.

The letter of intent must be developed in collaboration with relevant stakeholders. The applicants must clearly indicate how the centre’s activities fill a gap in Canada’s commercialization landscape. Private and public sector participants should be informed that their level of involvement as well as their cash and in-kind commitments will be critical to the success of the centre.

The letters of support from stakeholder organizations should indicate briefly the nature of the anticipated support and potential involvement in the centre. Each letter of support must not exceed two pages.

The letter of intent must include the following:

Host Organization covering letter (maximum 2 pages)

A letter, signed by the proposed centre director and the president or CEO of the organization that proposes to host the centre, must be included. This letter should outline the nature of anticipated support from the proposed host organization. Host organizations play an important role in CECR funded centres, through both direct administrative support and by participating in centre governance through ex-officio voting membership on the Board of Directors.

Letter of Intent form

Complete the CECR 2016 LOI application form available on the NCE Web site at www.nce-rce.gc.ca.

Section A: General Information

Complete and sign Section A of the CECR 2016 LOI application form www.nce-rce.gc.ca.

Section B: Centre Revenues (cash)

Indicate the centre’s anticipated cash support from all sources. It is expected that there will be a gradual reduction in the centre’s reliance on CECR funding over time as the centre becomes self-sustaining. See the CECR program guide for information on eligible expenditures and use of NCE funds.

Section C: Centre Budget (cash expenditures)

Provide details by expenditure category to indicate the centre’s anticipated budget.

Section D: Summary of the centre’s in-kind contributions from its stakeholders

In the space provided below the table, please summarize the nature of the contributions.

Section E: Additional Information

In the space provided, please add explanations concerning the centre’s anticipated benefits to Canada, Explanations should be provided concerning the centre’s goals and objectives, incremental economic and/or social benefits and its expected impacts and outcomes for its industrial sector.

Information is also requested concerning the composition of the centre’s board of directors and the overall composition of the centre’s stakeholder organizations.

Section F: Summary of the Application for Public Release (1 page)

Provide a brief summary that can be used for public communications and expert panel recruitment.

Section G: List of letters of support

Complete the list of letters of support. Sort letters by category (academic, industrial, government, host institution, foreign and other). The number of letters is not restricted; however, the table of letters of support from partners and stakeholders should include only those that will be providing cash and in-kind support to the centre.

Information to help assess the track record and potential of the applicants (Maximum 3 pages)

Background information about the lead applicants is required to assist in the assessment of their commercialization and/or research excellence.

Provide a list or table of the names and affiliations of the proposed members of the centre’s Board of Directors.

Biographies are requested for the Centre Director and at least four other proposed members of the Board of Directors, including the proposed Chair of the Board of Directors (up to 200 words each).

Business Plan (Maximum 5 pages)

Centre commercialization and research programs must be developed in collaboration with relevant stakeholders, and must integrate industry priorities. Give an overview of the centre’s proposed business plan, highlighting a preliminary assessment of the following elements:

  1. Strategic Plan
  2. Market Assessment
  3. Centre’s capability
  4. Managerial capability
  5. Technological capability
  6. Commercialization capability
  7. Sales/Communication and Marketing Capabilities and Resources
  8. Operational Plan

The strength of the business plan will be assessed on the following overarching criteria:

  • The excellence, focus and coherence of the centre’s commercialization and/or research program;
  • The extent to which the partnerships developed for the center involve various levels of government and the private sector to complement the funding available through the granting agencies and the Canada Foundation for Innovation;
  • The effectiveness of the plan to manage, protect and exploit intellectual property resulting from centre-funded research;
  • The likelihood for this investment to result in the creation of a sustainable, productive centre of excellence;
  • The quality of the proposed organizational structure with appropriate representation on the Board of Directors and management team; and
  • Evidence that the applicants have in place an accountability framework likely to result in effective leadership and sound financial decision-making.

Financial Plan Overview (Maximum 2 pages)

This section should provide a multi-year overview of the centre’s financial projections, including revenues, sources of funding, operational expenses and R&D expenses.
The forecast budget with projected revenue and expenditures for its activities must clearly demonstrate that CECR funding declines over the funding period and should extend to the first year that the centre expects to fully displace CECR funding with other revenue to achieve sustainability.

Sustainability of the centres remains a key element of the CECR program and includes many models, such as revenue streams, partner-led initiatives, and investments. Centres are expected to become self-sufficient through the establishment of a strong business plan and partnerships.

Letters of Support from Stakeholders (Maximum 2 pages per letter)

An unlimited number of letters of support may be included from stakeholder organizations. Letters of support must make explicit reference to the centre, and should:

  • Come from a senior executive;
  • Make commitments in terms of cash and/or in-kind support;
  • Indicate how the centre would help their organization, and
  • Indicate current and past associations with the applicant.

Sort the letters by category (academic, industrial, federal government, provincial government, municipal government, host institution, foreign and other).

List of potential expert panellists

Applicants should provide a list of their suggestions for potential expert panellists for the panel that will review their full application. Applicants should provide the areas of expertise for each suggested panellist, as well as their contact information and should include at least 15 suggestions in their list.

Request for funding to assist in the preparation of the proposal

Applicants are able to request up to a maximum of $15,000 to assist in the preparation of their full proposal, should they be invited to do so by the NCE Secretariat following the evaluation of their LOI. Applicants should indicate the amount of funding that they are requesting, as well as to provide an explanation of the intended use of the funds and the associated costs.

 

Completing a Full Application - Invited applicants only

(Deadline: August 28, 2015)

The general presentation guidelines apply to the development of the CECR Business Plan. See Appendix B for a checklist to ensure a full application package is submitted. For completion of the centre’s Business and Financial plans, applicants should refer to the Excel spreadsheet available as part of the CECR application documents. Applicants may add or remove rows from the financial tables according to their requirements in order to most clearly demonstrate their centre’s plans for sustainability.

CECR Competition 2016 for new Centres of Excellence package must include:

  1. Statement from the proposed Chair of the Board with a commitment to the Centre;
  2. Full Application Form;
  3. A Business Plan;
  4. A Financial Plan;
  5. Detailed performance indicators, targets and milestones; and
  6. Appendices
    1. Letters of support
    2. Biographies
    3. Alphabetical list of key individuals

I. Statement from the proposed Chair of the Board (maximum 2 pages)

A statement from the proposed Chair of the Board that provides a commitment to the Centre and its proposed vision.

II. Full Application Form (complete form, all fields are mandatory)

Complete the CECR 2016 Full Application Form, available at: www.nce-rce.gc.ca.

Section A: General Information

Complete and sign Section A of the CECR 2016 Full Application form.

Section B: Centre Revenues (cash)

Indicate the centre’s anticipated cash support from all sources. It is expected that there will be a gradual reduction in the centre’s reliance on CECR funding over time as the centre becomes self-sustaining. See the CECR program guide for information on eligible expenditures and use of CECR funds.

Section C: Centre Budget (cash expenditures)

Provide details by expenditure category to indicate the centre’s anticipated budget. Please ensure to include sufficient ramp-up funds for fiscal year 2015-16. The results of the 2016 CECR competition should be announced in fall 2015, and successful centres will be expected to begin operations shortly after they have been informed of the outcome of their application. Therefore, the centre should anticipate providing expenditures from fall 2015 to March 31st 2016.

Section D: Summary of the centre’s in-kind contributions from its stakeholders

In the space provided below the table, please summarize the nature of the contributions.

Section E: Summary of the Application for Public Release

Provide a brief overview of the content of the application in the fields provided.

Section F: List of letters of support

Complete the list of letters of support. Sort letters by category (academic, industrial, government, host institution, foreign and other). The number of letters is not restricted; however, the table of letters of support from partners and stakeholders should include only those that will be providing cash and/or in-kind support to the centre.

III Business Plan (maximum 25 pages)

1. Strategic Plan and Commercialization Strategy

The centre should describe its vision with the specific objectives that are focused on achieving that vision. The centre’s strategic plan should describe how the centre will achieve its objectives to integrate the technology and the intellectual property developed within the centre and its partners. The objectives and milestones required to fully exploit the technology pipeline or service capacity of the centre should be clearly set out.
In particular, the strategy should include:

  • The centre’s plan showing how its portfolio of activities fits into its current vision;
  • A robust commercialization strategy that describes the centre’s business model, the approach to partnership development and value creation, the benefits to industry, and how this will result in commercial benefits;
  • Evidence that the centre will help to accelerate the commercialization of leading-edge technologies, goods or services in priority areas where Canada can significantly advance its competitive advantage; and
  • A demonstration of the centre’s commitment to achieving a national scope.  

The Centre should also describe its intellectual property (IP) strategy, including a description of promising technology disclosures and high value IP that will be accessible to the centre, its plans for managing the IP and how it will result in commercial benefits.

If applicable, the centre should demonstrate that it has the capabilities to provide commercialization services that will help clients maximize market access opportunities.

2. Operational Plan

The centre must describe how its strategic plan and commercialization strategy will be put into operation. The operational plan should describe the specific objectives of the centre and the resources that will be required to deliver on these objectives. The specific activities that will generate revenues and contributions from partners should be highlighted.

The centre must demonstrate that it possesses, or can reasonably be expected to secure, the requisite managerial capability to achieve its strategic plan and commercialization strategy. The following information, at a minimum, is required:

  • The pertinent experience and expertise (corporate and individual, technical and managerial) of the centre’s proposed management team and its Board of Directors. The specific business and entrepreneurial expertise of the management team should be highlighted (e.g. track record of company creation, revenue generation, licensing etc.).
  • A description of the collaborations, joint ventures and partnerships with the public and private sector, including other centres, and the value of these collaborations.
  • A human resource plan outlining staff competencies to achieve objectives.

3. Technological Capability

This section must demonstrate that the centre possesses or can be reasonably expected to secure, the technological capability to achieve the centre’s strategic plan and commercialization strategy. In particular, the centre should identify the sources of technology disclosures available, and describe the technologies in the centre’s product development pipeline. It should also demonstrate that systematic reviews will be conducted of opportunities, progress against technology development objectives and risks.

The following information is required:

  • A description of the available technical resources (e.g. personnel, facilities, equipment, partners);
  • A description of the collaborations, joint ventures or partnerships that will be established to enable the centre to successfully bolster its technical activities;
  • A description of the centre’s approach to managing the technical activities with an articulation of the tools that will be used (e.g. project team, planning, budgeting, scheduling, allocating responsibility, controlling);
  • A clear articulation that the centre’s activities are technologically feasible, and competitive;
  • A demonstration of the technology readiness, as well as the stage of development of activities within its portfolio; and
  • The technology feasibility risks and the centre’s mitigation strategies.

4. Market Assessment, Sales and Communication

The market assessment should clearly articulate the key findings about the relevant industry sector, including the centre’s best alliances, customers, and competitors.

The assessment should include a market analysis that:

  • Defines and describes the market for its products and services.
  • Describes opportunities particularly relevant to the centre in the regional, national and international contexts.
  • Identifies key competitors and partner institutions.
  • Identifies competitive and market access issues (e.g. regulatory approvals, market positioning, competing products, corporate mandates).
  • Demonstrates that revenue projections align with current market and overall landscape in their priority area.

The centre must also describe its sales and communication strategy, how it will brand itself and how it will communicate with internal and external partners.

IV Financial Plan (narrative description with financial tables - maximum 10 pages)

This section must include a multi-year financial plan of the centre including:

  • Revenues from external sources and revenues generated by the centre.
  • Other sources of funding (e.g. grants and contributions) including the expected timing of receipt of funding.
  • Operational and commercialization expenses.
  • A plan for displacement of CECR funds over time.

The section must clearly distinguish between negotiated and planned funding. Government funding and non-governmental funding should be well identified. The forecast budget with projected revenue and expenditures for planned activities must clearly demonstrate that CECR funding declines over the funding period and should extend to the first year that the centre expects to fully displace CECR funding with other revenues to achieve sustainability.

The financial plan should also include a forecast of projected revenues from commercialization investments and any special conditions attached to any of the financial contributions from public and private sector partners. Key financial risks and a proposed mitigation strategy should also be included.

Financial Tables to be included are provided below:

  • Table 1 - Balance Sheet: A snap shot of the centre’s assets, liabilities and stakeholders’ equity in the Centre (if applicable).
  • Table 2 - Financial Forecasts: Provide an overview of the centre’s projected sources of funding, operational and commercialization expenses. Please ensure to include sufficient ramp-up funds for fiscal year 2015-16. The results of the 2016 CECR competition should be announced in fall 2015, and successful centres will be expected to begin operations shortly after they have been informed of the outcome of their application. Therefore, the centre should anticipate providing expenditures from fall 2015 to March 31st 2016.
  • Table 3 - Revenue Projections: Projects the centre’s future income.

V Performance Indicators, Targets and Milestones (maximum 2 pages)

The centre must provide performance metrics on which the centre will evaluate its achievements and demonstrate the incremental value generated by the CECR investment.

VI Appendices

A.1 Letters of Support (maximum 2 pages per letter)

Provide letters confirming the contributions for each partner listed in Section F of the Full Application Form. For each stakeholder organization, the letter must make explicit reference to the centre, and should:

  • Come from a senior executive.
  • Make commitments in terms of cash and/or in-kind support.
  • Clearly describe the nature of in-kind support where applicable.
  • Indicate how the centre helps their organization; indicate current and past associations with the centre.

The letters should not follow a template/form format.

The signatures of authorized officers of supporting organizations certify that the organization agrees to:

  • The content of the application and will provide the committed resources.
  • The publication of the organization's name as a supporter of the centre.

If the centre director is also a principal of a collaborating or supporting organization, another senior official must sign on behalf of the organization.

Sort the letters by category (academic, industrial, federal government, provincial government, municipal government, host institution, foreign and other).

Note: Only letters providing support in the form of in-kind or cash contributions should be included (all other letters will be removed from the full application package).

A.2 Biographies of centre management and members of the Board of Directors (maximum 1 page per biography)

Biographies (up to 20) should be provided for the lead applicants (including the proposed centre director) and for the proposed members of the Board of Directors. Each biography must not exceed one page in length.

A.3  Alphabetical List of Key Individuals

To assist the reviewers in their evaluation, provide:

An alphabetical list of key individuals involved in the centre (i.e., Centre Director, proposed members of the centre’s Management and Board of Directors, interim Chair of the Board).

For each individual, the alphabetical list must provide the following:

  • Name;
  • Organization, Department and Position;
  • Province;
  • Percentage of salaried time to be devoted to the centre, if any;
  • Role in the centre: Centre Director (CD), proposed member of the Management Committee, Board of Directors (BOD), interim Chair of the Board.
  • An asterisk if a Biography is provided.

 

Instructions for meeting with an expert panel

All applicants invited to submit a full application will meet with an expert panel comprised of experts in business, management, knowledge and technology transfer, commercialization, applied science, finance and/or public policy.

The role of the expert panel is to provide the PSAB with a report on the strengths and weaknesses of the application.

At this meeting, up to five representatives of the proposed centre will have an opportunity to make short presentations on the centre’s:

  • Vision, objectives and benefits to Canada;
  • Lead applicants’ track record and potential;
  • Business plan; and
  • Financial projections and self-sustainability plan

Presentations should add value to the written application by highlighting major features, achievements and new developments rather than repeating the details of the application.

Each section of the presentation will be followed by a question and answer period.

Based on the information provided in the proposal and during the expert panel presentation, the panel will prepare a report for the Private Sector Advisory Board addressing the strengths and weaknesses of the application according to the CECR program evaluation criteria.

Applicants will be asked to distribute a paper copy of their presentation to the expert panelists and to leave an electronic copy of their presentation, which will be forwarded along with the expert panel report to the Private Sector Advisory Board.

 

Appendix A: Conflict of Interest Guidelines

Members who are directly or indirectly associated with the application must disclose their interest and follow guidelines adopted by the NCE Secretariat regarding conflicts of interest. Members, who stand to gain or lose financially, either in their personal capacity or by virtue of being an officer of any legal entity affected by a financial decision of the NCE must disclose their interest.

These guidelines cannot foresee all possible situations and the NCE Secretariat must rely on the judgment of the members. Indeed, it is the responsibility of members to declare any conflict of interest. Examples of conflict of interests as adapted from NSERC, and CIHR state that:

Expert Panel Members should not:

  • be from the same university as the applicant(s);
  • have been a research supervisor or graduate student of the applicant(s) within the past six (6) years;
  • be providing letters of support for the application;
  • have collaborated with the applicant(s) within the past six (6) years or have plans to collaborate in the immediate future;
  • be an employee of a non-academic organization with which the applicant has had collaboration within the past six (6) years;
  • be in any other potential conflict of interest (e.g., personal, financial).

Committee members are in conflict if they:

  • are from the same immediate institution or company as the applicant, and who interact with the applicant in the course of their duties at the institution or company;
  • are a close personal friend or relative of the applicant;
  • have had long-standing scientific or personal differences with the applicant;
  • are in a position to gain or lose financially from the outcome of the application (e.g., hold stock in the company of an industry partner or a competitor), or for some other reason feel that they cannot provide an objective review of the application.

Members are asked to inform the NCE staff of potential conflict of interests as early as possible. At the beginning of a session, the Chair reads the list of identified conflicts and asks each member in turn to declare any other relationship to a proposal (positive or negative). If the Chair believes a member should not participate in the review, that member withdraws from discussion. Difficult cases should be brought to the NCE staff who have the responsibility to rule.

 

Appendix B: Checklists for Application Packages

Letter of Intent (LOI): Deadline March 6, 2015
Number of Pages Items
2 pages I. Letter from the intended host organization to support the centre’s application
LOI Form II. LOI Form
  • Section A – General Information
  • Section B – Centre revenues (cash)
  • Section C – Centre budget (cash expenditures)
  • Section D – Summary of In-kind contributions from stakeholders
  • Section E – Additional information
  • Section F – Summary for public release
  • Section G – List of letters of support
Maximum of 3 pages III. Information to help assess the track record and potential of the applicants
Maximum of 5 pages IV. Business Plan
Maximum of 2 pages V. Financial Plan Overview
Maximum 2 pages per letter VI. Letters of Support
No limit List of potential expert panelists
Maximum of 1 page Request and justification for FAP funding
Full Application: Deadline August 28, 2015
Number of Pages Items

Maximum 2 pages

  • Statement from the proposed Chair of the Board

Maximum number of characters allowed in each section

Full Application Form

  • Section A – General Information
  • Section B – Centre revenues (cash)
  • Section C – Centre budget (cash expenditures)
  • Section D –Summary of In-kind contributions from stakeholders
  • Section E – Summary for public release
  • Section F – List of letters of support

Maximum 25 pages

  • Business Plan

Maximum 10 pages

  • Financial Plan

Maximum 2 pages

  • Performance Indicators, Targets and Milestones
  • Max 2 pages / letter
  • Max 1 page / bio
  • As needed
  • Appendices:
    • Letters of support
    • Biographies of centre management and members of the board of director
    • Alphabetical list of key individuals

 

Appendix C: What do the electronic or original signatures on the application mean?

For the Lead Applicant

By signing and submitting my application, I (the Lead Applicant):

  • certify that the information provided in my funding applications and related documents is true, complete and accurate and that I have represented myself, my research and my accomplishments in a manner consistent with the norms of the relevant field;
  • consent to the sharing between the NCE Secretariat and any academic institution to which I am, or may become, affiliated of any and all information, including personal information, in any way related to the application and to the grant/award;
  • understand the This link will take you to another Web site Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act (including the Use and Disclosure of Personal Information Provided to the NCE Secretariat) as they pertain to grant application information;
  • attest that participants listed on the application have agreed to be included;
  • certify that I am not currently ineligible to apply for and/or hold funds from Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) or any other research funding organization world-wide for reasons of breach of responsible conduct of research policies such as ethics, integrity or financial management policies;
  • certify that I respect and comply with the This link will take you to another Web site Values and Ethics Code of the Public Sector, as required only if I am, or was in the last 12 months, a public servant in the federal government;
  • accept the terms and conditions set out in NCE Program Guide and the This link will take you to another Web site Agreement on the Administration of Agency Grants and Awards by Research Institutions between the federal granting agencies and Canadian institutions;
  • will inform the NCE Secretariat and institutional officials of changes in eligibility status;
  • agree to comply with the policies and guidelines described in the This link will take you to another Web site Requirements for Certain Types of Research, including:
    • research involving humans;
    • research requiring human pluripotent stem cells;
    • research requiring the use of animals;
    • research involving controlled information;
    • research involving biohazards;
    • research involving radioactive materials;
    • research activities having potential effects on the environment; and
    • other related policies;
  • will inform the NCE Secretariat and institutional officials of any changes in the nature of the research that may have an impact on certification or approvals on the same policies as in the previous bullet; and
  • understand that maintaining public trust in the integrity of researchers is fundamental to building a knowledge-based society. By submitting this application or by accepting funding from CIHR, NSERC and/or SSHRC, I affirm that I have read and I agree to respect all the policies of these agencies that are relevant to my research, including the This link will take you to another Web site Tri-Agency Framework: Responsible Conduct of Research. In cases of a serious breach of agency policy, the agency may publicly disclose my name, the nature of the breach, the institution where I was employed at the time of the breach and the institution where I am currently employed. I accept this as a condition of applying for, or receiving, agency funding and I consent to such disclosure.

For academic participants:

By accepting to participate in the Centre, I (the academic participant) also agree to the above.

The signatures of the institutional authorities certify that:

  • the institution will abide by the roles and responsibilities as set out in the This link will take you to another Web site Agreement on the Administration of Agency Grants and Awards by Research Institutions with the three federal granting agencies;
  • the applicants have met, or will meet, the eligibility requirements;
  • the institution obtained written approval from other institutions involved in the application process prior to submission; and
  • the institution agrees to comply with NSERC’s, CHIR’s or SSHRC’s data protection requirements and has adequate safeguards in place to protect sensitive information entrusted to it by the NCE Secretariat for the purpose of administering applications and awards.

The signatures of authorized officers of other supporting organizations certify that the organization:

  • agrees with the content of the application and will provide the committed resources; and
  • agrees to the release of the public summary of the award and to the publication of the organization's name as a supporter of the initiative.

For further information, see the Questions and Answers on the Consent to Disclosure of Personal Information at address This link will take you to another Web site www.nserc-crsng.gc.ca/NSERC-CRSNG/governance-gouvernance/consentFAQ-consentementFAQ_eng.asp.